University of Waterloo

  • Manager, Graduate Operations

    Requisition ID
    Job Category
    Academic Services
    2175 - Dean of Engineering Office
    Job Status
    Temporary Appointment (Contract)
    Hiring Range
    $59,433 - $74,291
  • Overview

    Term: 7 months


    The Manager, Graduate Operations is a senior administrative position in the Engineering Graduate Studies Office (EGSO), reporting to the Associate Dean, Graduate Studies (ADG), and is responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations and operational improvements to business practices in the EGSO. The Manager provides operational leadership in carrying out activities under the Associate Dean’s portfolio including confidential activities at a senior level. The Manager provides leadership to the administrative team, both within the EGSO and for all Engineering Graduate Coordinators. This position will also work closely with the other senior administrative staff within the EGSO, including the Strategic Graduate Enrolment Manager and Graduate Recruitment Officer, on strategic initiatives related to admissions and student success.


    Provides strategic and administrative support to the Associate Dean, Graduate Studies

    • Develops and supports new initiatives, directing workflow to meet Faculty of Engineering goals and objectives
    • Provides the ADG with confidential and strategic advice, information and data to support decision making
    • Analyzes internal processes and recommends and implements procedural changes to improve day-to-day operations
    • Compiles statistical data and assists with the preparation of graduate program reports and appraisals
    • Provides support to the ADG in addressing cases involving academic and non-academic discipline (Policy 71), student appeals (Policy 72), and student petitions (Policy 70) 
    • Serves as a resource and directs administrative support for the Engineering Graduate Studies Committee (EGSC) and Engineering Graduate Operations monthly meetings including submitting motions to Engineering Faculty Council (EFC) and Senate Graduate and Research Council (SGRC)
    • Responsible for providing administrative coordination for graduate program reviews and new graduate programs
    • Provides administrative assistance to the ADG as needed

    Financial Administration

    • Provides financial oversight in the EGSO, including scholarship budgets and disbursements, travel expenses and general operating expenses
    • Has signing authority for all EGSO operating and scholarship accounts
    • Maintains faculty-wide annual budgets for the UW Graduate Scholarship, Faculty-level endowments, Engineering Excellence Fellowships, Advanced Manufacturing Fellowships, Dean’s Entrance Award, Faculty of Engineering Scholarship, PDEAW, and PDEAW ENG (combined in excess of $1M) 

    Provides Administrative and Operational Leadership Within the EGSO

    • Oversees the recruitment, evaluation, promotion, mentoring, professional development, and retention of administrative staff within the EGSO
    • Ensures that personnel files, work schedules and vacation records for staff are maintained in accordance with University policies
    • Fosters constructive working relationships with EGSO staff and sets goals and team agendas
    • Responsible for establishing and regularly reviewing the administrative structure to ensure that human resources are efficiently and effectively managed
    • Oversees the day-to-day work of administrative staff; directs, coordinates, and evaluates activities, monitors workload and provides direction and problem-solving support
    • Ensures timely response by EGSO by coordinating critical back up coverage and cross training for heavy demand periods and absences
    • Oversees the admissions process for graduate students for the Faculty of Engineering
    • Works closely with the Strategic Graduate Enrolment Manager and Graduate Recruitment Officer to support strategic enrolment initiatives
    • Acts as a resource for and directs in-program administration by EGSO staff including PhD Comprehensive Exams, MASc and PhD Thesis Defense Processes, the Accelerated Master’s program, Doctoral Thesis Completion Award competition, 3MT competition, and Program and Comprehensive Exam Extensions

    Provides leadership, support and direction to academic and on-campus support units

    • Fosters constructive working relationships with departmental administrative staff, Associate Chairs, Graduate Studies, and Departmental Chairs
    • Acts as a resource for department staff, including coaching, training staff to meet new objectives, and supporting problem resolution
    • Serves as a resource within the Faculty for the interpretation of and ensuring adherence to UW and Faculty of Engineering policies, guidelines and practice
    • Establishes and maintains faculty-wide best practices to meet operational goals; reviews quality and accuracy of departmental administration, and addresses any concerns with
      departmental staff, their direct supervisors or Associate Chairs as appropriate
    • Responsible for all EGSO & Graduate Coordinators meeting administration and content, including chairing meetings
    • Oversees the Required to Withdraw (RTW) notification, involving the Associate Dean, Graduate Studies where appropriate
    • Acts as a liaison between the Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs office (GSPA) and Departmental staff in updating policies and procedures from GSPA and to share feedback on GSPA initiatives on behalf of department staff
    • Attends GSPA/Faculty administrators meetings on behalf of the EGSO

    Scholarship Administration

    • Responsible for overseeing the scholarship process at the Faculty level including providing guidance to academic units and the ADG to ensure the optimal and appropriate usage of all awards, and endowments and trusts awarded within Engineering, and processing awards nominations
    • Acts as key administrator supporting awards reviewed by the Engineering Graduate Studies Awards Committee
    • Manages the review of the Alumni Gold Medal, Governor General’s Gold Medal, Order of the White Rose, and other faculty-adjudicated awards
    • Identifies eligible candidates for various University and Faculty awards
    • Reviews and processes nominations for internal and external awards in excess of $1M
    • Maintains NSERC USRA award nomination process working with departmental Undergraduate administrative staff

    Workflow and process improvements

    • Works with stakeholders (ADG, departments, GSPA, etc.) to identify and prioritize opportunities to improve existing processes related to graduate students
    • Works with stakeholders to implement workflow and process improvements to ensure clear communications with students, staff, and faculty, including measuring and reporting on results

    Supports strategic communications for graduate operational processes

    • Responsible for managing web content for Current Graduate Students webpages at the Faculty level
    • Maintains current, and develops new procedural pieces for the EGSO to align with University processes
    • Manage and maintain the EGSO SharePoint site ensuring content and resources are relevant and current
    • Responsible for the Faculty of Engineering section of the Graduate Academic Calendar
    • Reviews motions for approval by EGSC and identifies and advises departments and the Associate Dean, Graduate Studies when revisions are required
    • Develops process notes, handbooks, etc., for routine graduate processes
    • Creates and maintains manuals for EGSO operations positions as well as best practices and policies and procedures for departments
    • Creates messaging to inform award nominees of competition outcomes


    • Completion of an undergraduate degree required, or equivalent education and experience
    • 5 years of progressively responsible administrative experience, preferably in an academic setting
    • 3 years supervisory or leadership experience to guide process change and mentoring of staff preferred
    • Demonstrated experience meeting multiple and concurrent deadlines and managing small and large-scale projects
    • Experience building relationships with a variety of stakeholders and balancing conflicting demands and priorities
    • Demonstrated experience working with students, faculty and staff and the ability to handle sensitive and confidential information with discretion.
    • Experience with financial management and data collection and analysis an asset
    • Familiarity with the processes associated with admissions to graduate programs at Waterloo preferred
    • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral
    • Proven ability to succeed in a detail-oriented environment with a high level of initiative and flexibility
    • Excellent problem solving abilities and good judgment
    • Excellent analytical and organization skills
    • Proven ability to work independently with minimal direction and as a team member in a busy and varied environment with deadlines, changing priorities and large volumes of work
    • Intermediate skill level with Microsoft Office including Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Intermediate skill level with OnBase, Quest, LEARN and web content management software. Familiarity with SharePoint an asset
    • Occasional travel may be required
    • Regular working hours with occasional evening and weekend work required


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